Wrongful death lawsuit filed against RTA bus driver who struck and killed 69-year-old woman

CLEVELAND - A wrongful death lawsuit was filed on the one year anniversary of a woman who was struck and killed by a Cleveland RTA bus driver.

On Dec. 7, 2016, 69-year-old Joan Kuendig was hit by an RTA bus as it attempted to make a left-hand turn onto Rockwell Avenue, while she was a legally crossing pedestrian inside a marked crosswalk.

Kuendig was taken to a nearby hospital but later died from her injuries.

The driver, Antoinette Peterkin was fired the following the month.  In April 2017 she was charged with vehicular homicide.

Peterkin pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to one-year probation and community service. She was also given a suspended six-month jail sentence.

The lawsuit, filed against Peterkin and RTA, contends that Peterkin was "unreasonably distracted, failed to pay reasonable attention to the direction of her turn, and/or was otherwise negligent and unlawful in failing to see and yield to Mrs. Kuendig, with the force of the bus windshield and front bike rack delivering a violent blow from behind that drove Mrs. Keundig into the air and slammed her to the pavement in the crosswalk near the curb on the north side of Rockwell."

The lawsuit states Kuendig received multiple injuries, including skull and rib fractures and bleeding throughout her brain.

Kuendig died on Dec. 29.

According to the lawsuit, RTA failed to make simple and inexpensive repairs to the buses that would have eliminated blind spots that blocked driver visibility. 

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Kuendig's estate, is seeking wrongful death damages from RTA and punitive damages in excess of $25,000 from Peterkin.

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